Monday, July 23, 2012

FWWS BLOG POSTING for July 23, 2012

Dear FWWS Member,

It has come to our attention that some industry groups have proposed that the WSLCB repeal WAC 314-52-110 (3)(d) concerning competition in pricing. The current WAC section states:

“(3) Beer, wine, or spirituous liquor shall not be advertised, offered for sale, or sold by retail licensees at less than acquisition cost. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any sales made: …

(d) In an endeavor to meet the prices of a competitor selling the same article or product in the same locality or trade area and in the ordinary channels of trade.”

Ironically, this exception made little sense prior to the pricing freedoms gained under I-1183 since at that time wine was sold only by uniform and delivered pricing. The effect of repealing this exception now would be to limit the ability of retailers to meet the pricing of competitors who have lower costs of acquisition (for example through now legal volume discounts) should they choose to do so.

FWWS has joined the opposition to this repeal as an unnecessary new restriction on wine pricing. It is not clear to us that under this change the Liquor Control Board would have the resources to effectively police pricing under the newly liberalized law. It is clear to us that wineries do not wish to return to the pre I-1183 red tape days of “price posting” or “price filing” in order to facilitate State policing of price competition. We believe the passage of I-1183 has given the Liquor Control Board the opportunity to affirmatively and permanently step away from its role of alcohol pricing regulation in lieu of refocusing on its core mission of alcohol abuse prevention, nuisance abatement, and tax collection.

The deadline for comments has been extended until July 25th. If you would like to join FWWS in opposing the repeal of WAC 314-52-110(3)(d), please send your comments to Karen Mccall, Rules Coordinator at the WSLCB by email at or by fax at 360-664-9689

Thank you,

Your All Volunteer FWWS Board

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